New rules requiring virtual private networks (VPNs) to keep logs of user activity and share it with law enforcement are controversial. The country’s top cyber police agency, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), has the right to seek investigative powers over VPNs, the conduits for a large portion of security attacks. This poses an existential risk to VPNs, which more and more Indians are using to protect their privacy online. Then the question arises whether VPN Service providers have the technical means to log user activities as their services are based on ensuring anonymity. Finally, due to their local laws, foreign players may not be allowed to disclose requested information.

A ban on VPNs, as contemplated by Indian lawmakers, would be a blunt instrument with security concerns that nullify legitimate online commerce. There are ways to bypass firewalls like this China has built. Smart police would have to draw their attention…

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